September 16, 1932 - January 22, 2019
Wacoan Elizabeth Sharon Daly Mansfield, 86, passed away on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, while living in San Antonio. Services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, January 26, at Austin Avenue United Methodist, 1300 Austin Avenue. Mrs. Mansfield may be viewed at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, and a time of visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m., Friday, January 25.
Sharon was born in Galveston, Texas, on September 16, 1932, to Louise Adams Daly and Hugh "Bud" Hardy Daly. She grew up in Waco and graduated from Waco High School. She was there in 1948 when the school won the State football title, which started her lifelong love of high school football. She attended Baylor University and graduated with a teaching degree in history and Latin. She married James "Jim" Thomas Mansfield in 1953. After traveling with Jim in the Air Force, the young couple spent several years in Fort Worth, where Sharon taught Latin at Monnig Junior High and Pascal High School.
They moved to Waco with three daughters in 1962, when Sharon started teaching sophomore advanced English at Richfield High School. As some would say, thus began her "long reign of excellence" for sophomores at Richfield, who usually eventually realized that by braving her class, they would be able to test out of freshman and maybe sophomore English at universities all over the U.S. Her Latin background often bolstered her students' ability to grasp English grammar. If a student was having difficulty with conjugating a verb or understanding the passive voice, for example, Mrs. Mansfield would ask them what foreign language they were taking in school, then proceed to explain the applicable rule for the exercise to fit their German, Spanish or Latin education. Up until her move to San Antonio last year, ex-students and their parents still visited, offering thanks for her contribution to their careers and quality of life.
Sharon loved her students and cared about their personal, athletic, musical and academic achievements in other areas. She was a defender of the little guy and creatives of all kinds. One ex-student recalled a time when he was unconsciously talking to himself while walking down the hall. A group of girls started laughing and made fun of him. Sharon witnessed the event and without missing a beat, walked up to them, stated "He's a thinker," then walked off without saying another word.
While at Richfield/Waco High, Sharon sponsored University Interscholastic League (UIL) Ready Writers (winning multiple awards) and received "Best Teacher in WISD" accolades. She also taught creative writing in the summer to classes in the Baylor English department. She attended every possible school football game and took her daughters along at early ages. She had a great love of primarily English and American literature, and taught her students that same respect by teaching great authors such as Hemingway, Crane, Shakespeare and more. For poetry, she added some Texas and world notables, and brought in the Poet Laureate of Texas and multiple teachers and artists from Baylor University to help expose her students to the best writers, musicians and philosophers that Waco, Baylor and Texas had to offer. And before everyone graduated, she studied several of her daughters – and many of their friends - through Latin assignments, as only she could. In her last 10 years of her career, she also taught Latin and World History, ending an amazing 48 year calling in the classroom.
Many, many accolades have poured in from former students as they have learned of Sharon's passing. "(Mrs. Mansfield) was a true Texas treasure. Smart, savvy, no-nonsense. Strong," . . . "A brilliant and demanding educator who leaves an incredible legacy of well-versed students" . . . "She was definitely one of the toughest teachers I ever had. I always refer to [Sharon] when my kids tell me about 'how hard' they think a class is for them. I tell them that they will appreciate it later" . . . "It was in her class that my love for words started to grow. I have your mom to thank for me becoming a journalist" . . . "She somehow transformed centuries old literature into something enjoyable for 16 year olds in the 1970s . . . Anyone who finds it impossible to forget the imagery associated with 'The red sun was pasted in the sky life a wafer' was likely one of Mrs. Mansfield's students."
As a result of the affection of some of her ex-students, a scholarship at Baylor was established in her name to benefit future teachers. The Sharon Daly Mansfield scholarship is the largest in the School of Education.
Her daily loves included Jim, her daughters, her mother, Louise, and her aunt, Libba. Also, raising just about any stray animal that came along – explaining that they all looked "hungry." Other activities included raising five daughters, reading and swimming, but most of the time it seemed like her main hobby was grading papers. A piano player herself, she got all five daughters to piano, dance, choir, swimming and other lessons, recitals, plays, symphonies, cotillions, proms and finally, graduations. She faithfully attended Austin Avenue United Methodist Church as a member of the Evans class, a church chosen by her mother for its world class organ and choir program. Sharon came from a long line of Methodists, including her great grandfather who was a Methodist preacher. Her strong faith and consistent prayer life helped to lead family members through tough times.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Louise A. and Hugh H. Daly; husband, Jim Mansfield; daughter, Ann Carol Mansfield; son-in-law, Keith Jimenez; and many beloved cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
She is survived by daughters, Donna Francis, son, Richard, wife, Lesley, and their daughter, Parker; Nancy Parker; Susan Peek; and Rebecca Mansfield and husband, Bruce Ralston. She is also survived by first cousins, Stacy Adams, Memie Adams Hardie, and Linda Adams Fulenwider and husband, Johnny.
Honorary Pallbearers are Richard Francis, Bruce Ralston, John Burleson, Lawrence Peek, Burt Waldrop and Ambassador Lyndon Olson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to the Sharon Daly Mansfield Scholarship at the School of Education at Baylor University, to Austin Avenue United Methodist Church, to the Waco Humane Society, or to the charity of your choice.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.